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This page contains seasonal tips and advice about growing plants and trees in your garden.

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Raking Up Fall Leaves

Raking LeavesThis page is about raking leaves. When the leaves fill your yard, you want to find the most efficient way to clean them up.

 

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Best Time to Plant?When is the best time this year to plant in Toppenish, Washington?

 

A pair of garden clippers next to dead perennials in winter.

Ways for Gardeners to Stay Busy During WinterWinter is not a time for gardener's to have the blues. There are a lot of activities you can engage in that will put the old garden to bed and prepare you for the coming season. Clean tools, read up on gardening, order seeds, try new spices to see if you need to grow your own. Concentrate on your houseplants and perhaps make up some garden decorations such as stepping stones or fun planters. More ideas can be found on this page.

 

Bushes covered up for the winter.

Protecting Plants in the WinterMany outdoor plants need or can benefit from some level of winter protection. Depending on the plant and the winter weather typical for your area there are varying things you can do to protect your plants.

 

Accepting Gardening's Disappointments - Crinum

Accepting Gardening's DisappointmentsI took some pictures before the last cold snap. I shared some of them with you. Things were looking pretty good. A week long warm spell had done its magic, forcing the juices of sleepy head plants to rise up to the promise of spring. Here are some after pictures, hopefully the damage is not too severe.

 

Blooming corkscrew vine in a backyard.

Overwintering Corkscrew VineBringing tender plants indoors for the winter can help with not having to replace them every year. This is a page about overwintering corkscrew vine (Cochliasanthus Caracalla or Vigna Caracalla).

 

Kale

Growing Ornamental KaleThis is a page about growing ornamental kale. Keep your fall garden colorful by adding ornamental kale to your other late blooming annuals and perennials.

 

robin in winter scene

Signs of Spring in the GardenThis is a page about signs of spring in the garden. As the cold and grey of winter dissipates, the signs of spring begin to appear in our gardens.

 

September's Garden To-Do List

September's Garden To-Do ListThis is a page about September's garden to-do list. September marks the coming of fall and end the of the main summer growing season. This time brings its own set of garden activities.

 

Protecting Your Garden from Fall Frost

Protecting Your Garden from Fall FrostThis is a page about protecting your garden from fall frost. When the weather turns cold you may want to cover some plants with mulch or covering to extend their production.

 

purple cabbage

Filling Bare Spots in Your Autumn GardenThis is a page about filling bare spots in your autumn garden. Fall is a great time to use your container plants and relocate them to parts of the garden where you need more color. Hearty late season annuals can help add color and fill the gaps.

 

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snow in flower pot

Preparing Container Plants for WinterThis is a page about preparing container plants for winter. Containers provide less protection for your plants than if they were planted in the ground. The upside is that they are portable.

 

Shovel and metal rake.

October's Garden To-Do ListThis page is about October's garden to-do list. No matter which zone you live in, it helps to have a list of important fall chores that need to be completed.

 

Family with Garden Harvest

Preparing Your Garden For FallThis is a page about preparing your garden for fall. As summer winds down, it is time to begin prepping the garden for fall and the onset of winter.

 

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Getting Your Garden Ready for the Growing...This page is about getting your garden ready for the growing season. There are many things to accomplish when preparing for your garden.

 

Watering Flowers

Helping Your Garden Beat The HeatThis is a page about helping your garden beat the heat. Summer brings heat to the garden. Many plants need and benefit from this seasonal rise in temperature. However, too much heat resulting from a heat wave can damage your plants.

 

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Protect Plants With Mesh TrampolineWe had a few plants that had some veggies on them. Because of a lack of hot sun and the air cooling off, we talked of cleaning the garden up and digging everything under.

 

Winterizing Agapanthus?I have a large agapantus planted in a container. I just took it to our basement. Can you tell me exactly how winterize it?

 

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Overwintering a Gerber Daisy?I have a Gerber daisy outdoors growing in my garden. Can I dig this daisy out and grow it in the house during the winter? I believe that this is a perennial.

 

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Fall Planting Ideas?What can I plant now?

 

Cold frame and glass cloches for plant protection.

Preparing Your Garden for WinterThis is a page about preparing your garden for winter. When summer winds down into fall it is time to start thinking about putting your garden to bed for the winter.

 

An English garden in summer reflected in a pond.

English Garden In SummerOur English garden in Summer.

 

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Move Hanging Plants Inside for WinterThe recent freezing weather here in Florida, really messed up my garden but I found that some of my vegetables and herbs could be moved into hanging planters which I then brought inside. Right now, I have green onions and mint growing tall and green.

 

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Removing Gravel From Your Lawn EdgeGetting the stones and gravel out of the edge of your lawn which were dumped by highway trucks for ice and snow is a tedious job. I found that using a shop vac is much easier and faster and does a very nice job.

 

Cheer Up Your Winter WindowJust a reminder to cheer up your kitchen window in this wintry weather by growing celery hearts in a glass. I submitted this tip a couple of winters ago and a month or so later, Susan showed us a pretty photo of one that she grew.

 

vegetable sprouts

Time to Get Ready for Spring GardeningIt's winter, and I am covered in mailorder catalogs. I often have two or three open at a time, carefully making my selections of what I think I can grow this coming year. I also know some of the stores will have seeds for sale, very soon.

 

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Use Sandbox Sand in the GardenIn the fall when we put things away, it was always "What do we do with the sand from the sandbox?" Well, I assess what areas of my veggie and flower garden soil needs some soil treatment and divide out the sand box to the garden needing it most.

 

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Watering the Garden in a Heat WaveIn an intense heat wave, I have saved my garden produce from sunburn and kept the plants green by covering them with old bedsheets.

 

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Using Shredded Paper as Mulch?Can I use shredded office paper as beneficial mulch?

 

Pink flowers covered in frost.

Preparing for Fall FrostsWhether you grow vegetables or flowers, it is natural to want extend the growing season as long as possible. As fall arrives, set aside a few minutes for "frost preparedness".

 

Lazy Gardening for Healthy Yards

Lazy Gardening for Healthy YardsI love to garden but it is also something that gets ignored when I have better things to do. Laura assured me that my garden would be fine with a bit of benign neglect. In fact, it would probably be healthier because of it.

 

The Changing Of The Seasons - glass suncatcher

The Changing Of The SeasonsAutumn is a wonderful time for most. There is the harvesting and the feasting, the storing up for the bleak days to come. There will be lots of shopping, too. Some people love Autumn simply because it's a time to renew their wardrobe. Who doesn't like to have a couple of fashionable cardigans to add to their already bulging supply of clothing?

 

Blooming Spring Branches in a vase

Forcing Spring Branches to BloomSay hello to spring this year by cutting a few branches from flowering trees and coaxing them to bloom for you indoors. Many woody plants can be forced into early flowering early, including forsythia, pussy willow, fruits trees, witch hazel, spirea, quince, and even lilac.

 

Mid Winter Flower Bulb Bargains- discounted planter and crocus corms

Mid Winter Flower Bulb BargainsI certainly don't need more flowers. I can barely keep up with all I have now. So, why do I continue to buy more? Lack of self restraint, I guess; though I tell myself it's something more colorful.

 

Pumpkin planters and other Fall decorations.

Autumn Gardening Ideas for Filling in...If your autumn beds and borders are starting to show a few bare spots due to dormant plants, don't worry. Here some quick and easy fixes for filling in the gaps.

 

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Questions

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Best Time to Plant?When is the best time this year to plant in Toppenish, Washington?

 

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Protecting a Rose of Sharon in the Winter?I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; this is located in the ''Zone 5-B'', I believe. We have a cold winter with 3 to 4 major snowfalls, and a damp type of cold, being next to the north shore of Lake Ontario, in the Golden Horseshoe. The temperature will drop to an average of -25C to -35C (-13 to -31 F) between early January and late March. Should I pot the plant and bring it indoors?

 

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Cleaning Out Dead Leaves and Debris From Under Our Jasmine Bushes?We purchased a home 2 years ago that has established jasmine as part of the front yard landscape. It's got a lot of dead leaves, debris, and some branches that appear to be dead. How do we clear out the leaves so that we can fertilize the planting? It was very pretty the year before last; not so much now. It was possibly planted when the home was built in or around 2003.

 

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Putting Rhubarb to Bed for Winter?What do I do about putting my rhubarb to bed for the winter? Do I cut it down or just leave it? Seems to me that in previous years I just left it, but I'm now being told that I should always cut it down.

 

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Winter Protection for Maple Trees?I live in central New Jersey. How do I protect my baby maple trees from our winters before I plant them in the spring?

 

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Protecting Roses from Winter Temperatures and Wind?What can I use around the house to protect my roses from the winter cold and winds? Thank you.

 

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